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Involving the whole team in your workplace-based learning

Medical students and trainees readily identify colleagues, team members and indeed patients and their carers who have enabled them to ‘fit in’ to new settings and who have made positive contributions to their learning. In many cases these individuals are not those with a formally recognised teaching role. For example, consider how powerful patient feedback (be it direct or indirect) can be on reinforcing your practice or seeking new ways to do things. Consider the ways in which students and trainees learn from each other (‘I find it helpful to hold it this way’) and share experiences (‘saw a great case in theatre yesterday’). Consider the ways in which junior medical staff guide less experienced colleagues in ways of examining patients, interpreting charts or test results and prioritising workloads. Consider the role played by nursing colleagues in helping ‘newcomers’ get to grips with ward procedures and protocols or in identifying ways to effectively work with particular team members. Acknowledge the role played by all members of your community and value it explicitly. Encourage your colleagues to be involved in the multi-source feedback to trainees. Invite them to be involved in medical education and training. Identify the ways in which they can support learning and make them explicit to students and trainees.

See the Workplace-based assessment and Giving effective feedback modules in this series for further ideas and information.

Thinking points

  • Consider who could potentially be involved in supporting student or trainee learning in your workplace.
  • Who could be more involved and how?
  • What contributions can be made by people other than yourself? 

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